Department of International Relations 75th Anniversary Public Lecture Series

In 2023, the first Australian soldier was charged with war crimes stemming from the Brereton report's documentation of evidence of murders committed by Australian Special Forces in Afghanistan between 2007 and 2012. This charge represents an important development, but falls short of what a true moral reckoning with the report requires from the Australian Defence Forces (ADF), the Australian Government, and the Australian people. Focusing blame and responsibility primarily on the perpetrators serves to deflect media, political, and social attention away from questions about the relationship between the war crimes and the military culture of the ADF and Special Forces, and from questions about the victims of these crimes and their communities, and whose perspectives should take moral priority in our thinking.

About the speaker
Jessica Wolfendale is Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University. She is the author of War Crimes: Causes, Excuses, and Blame (with Matthew Talbert, Oxford University Press, 2019), Torture and the Military Profession (2007), co-editor of New Wars and New Soldiers: Military Ethics in the Contemporary World (2011), and has published numerous articles and book chapters on topics including security, torture, terrorism, bioethics, and military ethics. Her work has appeared in journals including Ethics and International Affairs, the Journal of Political Philosophy, Res Philosophica, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, American Journal of Bioethics, and the Journal of Military Ethics. She is currently working on a book on torture and terrorism in America. See more of Jessica's research here:

About the chair
Luke Glanville
is Professor in the Department of International Relations at The Australian National University. Luke's research spans past and present thought and practice regarding international protection against atrocities, refugee protection, refugee exclusion, questions of rights, responsibilities, and prioritization, and questions of colonial conquest. He is the author ofPrioritising Global Responsibilities (Oxford University Press, with James Pattison, 2021), Sharing Responsibility: The History and Future of Protection from Atrocities (Princeton University Press, 2021), Refuge Reimagined: Biblical Kinship in Global Politics (InterVarsity Press, with Mark R. Glanville, 2021), and Sovereignty and the Responsibility to Protect: A New History (University of Chicago Press, 2014), winner of the Australian Political Science Association Crisp Prize (2016) and CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award (2014). See more of Luke's research here: https://researchprofiles.anu.e...


This lecture is held as part of a series celebrating the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Department of International Relations, located within the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at The Australian National University. You can find more information about the Department’s history and the other activities being held to mark the anniversary throughout 2024 here.

Event details

Event date

Thu, 23 May 2024, 5:30 - 7pm

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